2024 Safe & Together Model™ VIRTUAL European Conference
Save the Date! Join us May 8-10, 2024 for the VIRTUAL European Conference.
Wondering what it’s all about? Check out the schedule from the 2023 Conference below.
Masterclass: Applying a Perpetrator Pattern-Based Approach in Family Court Context
Family courts are charged with balancing child safety with meaningful relationships with both parents. What does this mean in the context of domestic violence? In many instances, courts are not clearly presented with the perpetrators’ patterns and the specifics of the harm it has caused, and emphasis on collaborative parenting can work against the best interests of children in these cases. Drawing on work in family court settings in the United States and Australia, David Mandel, Executive Director and Founder of the Safe & Together Institute, will explore how the Model can be applied in the family court context. This workshop will look at the difference between risk and harm frameworks; the importance of understanding post-separation coercive control and the targeting of professionals and systems as part of perpetrators’ patterns; how to best understand and contextualize protective parenting behaviors; the centrality of a behavioral approach to objectivity and neutrality; and how to increase accountability for perpetrators as parents in the family court context. (This is not an introductory class. While not required, prior knowledge of the Safe & Together Model is beneficial.)
Masterclass: Using Coaching to Increase Effective Practice and System Change
Coaching can dramatically increase individual practitioners’ capacity for applying learned skills and tools in their day-to-day practice, as well as help to create a shared language, framework, and practice across agencies, which promotes systems change. In this workshop specifically designed for Safe & Together Model™ Certified Trainers, participants will learn how to take their expertise in domestic violence-informed practice from the classroom to one-on-one and small-group consultations within their agencies. Participants will learn to promote practitioners’ critical thinking, risk and safety assessment, appropriate case planning recommendations, and overall best practices in domestic violence cases. The workshop will also focus on how Certified Trainers can coach workers in using Safe & Together Model™ tools, such as the Perpetrator Pattern Mapping Tool and the STIM Protocol, in advancing skill and knowledge development that can be applied across a range of cases as well as support practitioners in complex cases with high levels of trauma and safety issues. (This session is for Safe & Together Model™ Certified Trainers).
Masterclass: An Introduction to the Safe & Together Model
Anna Mitchell and Nicola Douglas
In this master class, participants will be introduced to the Principles, Critical Components, and other key aspects of the paradigm-shifting Safe & Together Model. Participants will learn how the Model’s concepts, skills and tools can transform individual practice, agencies’ culture and systems, and cross-sector collaboration. Learn about partnering with survivors, keeping children safe and intervening with perpetrators as parents. Participants are guaranteed to leave the session with new practices they can implement immediately. (This session is appropriate for professionals from any sector.)
KEYNOTES ARE INCLUDED IN THE VIRTUAL CONFERENCE PACKAGE
KEYNOTE: Stop Blaming Mothers & Ignoring Fathers: How to transform the way we keep children safe from domestic violence
We live in a world where, consistently, mothers are still blamed for the harm violent fathers create for children and families. Fathers’ behaviors and choices, positive and negative, and their impact on child and family functioning, are underappreciated or outright ignored. As part of the prelaunch of his forthcoming book, “Why does she keep choosing him over her children?” David Mandel, creator of the Safe & Together Model, will examine some of the professional “myths” that interfere with societal and systemic change and some of the steps to fix the systems charged with keeping children safe from domestic violence.
KEYNOTE: “The Last Drop”: A Sci-Fi Film Designed to Educate Young People About Coercive Control
Adam Joel + Ruth Reymundo Mandel
The Last Drop is a short sci-fi film about relationship abuse inspired by the memories of real survivors. A young woman links minds with her boyfriend to relive their favorite shared memories— but when she spots overlooked signs of abuse, she must escape before he can manipulate her memories in his favor. The film is designed to fill the glaring gap in educational material about coercive control for young people. Ruth Reymundo Mandel, the Safe & Together Institute’s Communication and Strategic Relationship Manager, and writer/director, Adam Joel, discuss the ground-breaking elements of the film, including:
– the power of storytelling to connect and empower survivors. Writer/Director, Adam Joel, will share the communal storytelling method he used to combine his own experience as a survivor with input from other survivors and experts.
– the innovative choice to use science fiction to reach younger audiences and highlight the hidden signs of coercive control.
– the partnership between S&TI (an Executive Producer of The Last Drop) and the filmmakers to distribute this film to the people who need it most.
Join us to learn how The Last Drop could be a powerful learning tool and conversation starter for your work in the field of abuse prevention, education, social work, and more!
KEYNOTES ARE INCLUDED IN THE VIRTUAL CONFERENCE PACKAGE
KEYNOTE: Responding Effectively to Coercive Control
Dr Emma Katz
This Keynote will explore the new, innovative work that is taking place around coercive control. Coercive control is a severe but often hidden form of abuse. It involves situations where a perpetrator subjects their partner or family member to persistent, wide-ranging controlling behaviour over a long period of time and makes it clear that standing up for themselves will be punished. By repeatedly punishing their partner/family member for non-compliance, the perpetrator intends to demoralise and terrorise them into a state of permanent obedience, stripping them of their ability to freely participate in their communities and to make basic choices for themselves. Coercive controllers use multiple tactics of abuse, and every tactic harms the lives of any children in the family as well as the lives of adult victim-survivors. The experiences of adults and children subjected to coercive control are highly similar, and children and adults should be considered co-victims and co-survivors.
After exploring the dynamics and tactics of coercive control and their impacts on victims-survivors, this Keynote will emphasise the following points: it is the abuser, not the relationship, that is the cause of the abuse, and it is the abuser who is responsible for the harms experienced by any children in the family. Perpetrators are making a parenting choice to have their child grow up in a family dominated by coercive control. Responses to domestic abuse by systems and individual professionals must identify the abuser’s pattern of abusive behaviour as the source of the danger and harm. Because separation rarely brings about safety for the adult and child survivors, and most coercive controllers are determined to continue their coercive control post-separation, responses to abusers must focus on meaningfully disrupting and blocking the abuser’s willingness and ability to continue to be abusive. Both adult and child victims and survivors require not only meaningful safety from the abuser but also the freedom, support and resources to make their own choices and to thrive in the aftermath of abuse.
KEYNOTE: The Four Pillars of “Failure to Protect” Culture
“Failure to Protect” culture holds mothers responsible for the behaviors of their abusive male partners. These practices are inefficient, ineffective, unfair and unethical. Drawing from his upcoming book “Why does she keep choosing him over her children,” David Mandel outlines “failure to protect culture,” its limitations and impact, and his suggestions for ending the use of “failure to protect” in domestic violence cases.
Hard to reach or not reaching hard enough? How systems create barriers for minoritised survivors
This workshop will cover:
– Cultural competence vs cultural sensitivity 10 years on – the progress made but how systems have overlooked the needs of Black and minoritised women
– Changing the language we use – practitioners are still using ‘culture’ and ‘religion’ to excuse abuse
– Racism and how it is reinforced by the system, which is in turn used by perpetrators
– Perpetrator interventions and their lack of representation of cultural issues
Restart – Earlier Intervention & Accommodation
Sarah Anderson, Hannah Candee and Maria Cripps
The presentation will discuss Restart, a systems change project working to improve responses to perpetrators of domestic abuse (DA) in families that are being supported by Children’s Social Care (CSC) via a co-ordinated multi-agency response, including Safe & Together training and implementation support, and direct intervention work that focuses on ensuring that the perpetrator is held responsible and accountable for change, crucially, this response incorporates a new approach by seeking alternative, diversionary accommodation for the perpetrator of abuse, led by wishes of the victim and when safe, whilst simultaneously offering them behaviour change intervention. This is intended to keep victim-survivors and families safer by enabling them to stay in their own homes by removing the person causing the harm, minimising disruption to their lives, providing space for action, improving housing security and enabling the perpetrator to engage with behaviour change. This presentation will provide an overview of the model which has been designed and informed with the theoretical underpinnings of S&T Principals, provide a brief overview of outcomes to date, and present emerging findings from the independent evaluations.
Nurturing and sustaining systems change: Best practice in implementation of the Safe & Together Model
THIS SESSION IS INCLUDED IN THE VIRTUAL CONFERENCE PACKAGE
Workforce development and training are critical to creating domestic abuse-informed practice. But how can this be nurtured systemically to produce high-quality and sustainable changes that result in positive outcomes? The UK is leading this conversation with an increasing number of practitioners who are employed to embed the Model as Safe & Together Implementation Leads and the creation of local Steering Groups.
Drawing on learning from best practices in implementation and the embedding of the Model across the UK, Anna Mitchell will share recommendations around implementation planning – from workforce development, improvement and communication plans to advice on governance, leadership, and self-assessment to evaluation and data collection. You will hear about how you can become part of the innovative UK Implementation Forum, where Leads share their learning, successes, challenges and how to overcome them.
10 tips on how to adopt, implement and embed Safe & Together practice and systems. The lessons and mistakes we made in Queensland, Australia (2015-22)
Steve Lock has 8 years of experience working with the Safe & Together Model. He was a lead on the Safe & Together adoption and implementation plan for Queensland, Australia. Steve will talk through 10 tips based on this experience. He will explain what strategies worked and which didn’t. He will talk about who are the key people/roles to get on board and who are likely to be your most valuable allies. He will outline what you can expect as the most difficult questions, challenges and arguments that you will need to overcome. He will focus on both practice and systemic change. Steve will share and explain the most successful Safe & Together initiatives used in Queensland and reflect on some mistakes that were made.
The intersectionality between Safe & Together and Signs of Safety
This workshop will look at the intersectionality between the Safe & Together model and the Signs of Safety practice framework. Fundamentally both ask one key question – Who is doing what to whom and what is the impact? Sharing a strengths-based focus S&T and SoS complement each other and in this workshop, we explore the intersectionality of both. Looking at aspects such as ‘Danger Statements’ and ‘Safety Goals’ through to trajectories in Signs of Safety, link with the principles of Safe & Together.
Using the Web-Based Perpetrator Pattern Mapping Tool to Embed Safe & Together into Your Agency
THIS SESSION IS INCLUDED IN THE VIRTUAL CONFERENCE PACKAGE
For years, practitioners have depended on the Safe & Together Institute Perpetrator Pattern Mapping Tool to change practice and change lives of adult and child domestic violence survivors. In the past, access to the tool required attendance in our CORE training. No longer. After a two-year development process, the Safe & Together Institute has launched a web-based version of the tool that is immediately accessible online to any practitioner. This workshop will provide an overview of the new version of the tool and its applications. The workshop will highlight how key aspects of the tool, including new content; built-in coaching and fidelity checks; and how its use supports the implementation of the Model and systems change.
Partnering Together Through Domestic Abuse – the survivor and social worker’s journey
Catriona Grant and Naomi Fleming
Naomi and Catriona will explore together how the S&T approach helped Naomi when she found herself in crisis, a survivor of domestic abuse and in the child welfare system overwhelmed and afraid. How she met Catriona, who partnered with her using the S&T model and how over the years, she and her children are safe, together and thriving. Naomi’s recovery from domestic abuse and trauma has led her to want to serve others, and she is now on the Parental Advocacy & Rights Board of Trustees championing S&T and parental advocacy as ethical and helpful practice. Catriona will discuss how partnering with survivors is ethical and supports both the survivor and the frameworks workers and families find themselves in. They will use their story to discuss their journey. They invite participants to get involved and come on their journey with them.
Creating Ecosystems of support for Survivors & Perpetrator behaviour change using Safe & Together Tools
Ruth Reymundo Mandel
During a time when communities are exploring how to offer more community-based resources to prevent domestic violence, the Safe & Together Institute has developed two tools designed for use by friends and family members. First, the ‘Choose to Change’ Network Toolkit – a kit that describes a four-step process to help men develop strong, safe support networks to help them interrupt their violence and increase safety for other family members. Second, the How to be an Ally to a Loved One Experiencing Domestic Violence: A Guide for Family & Friends which is a resource developed by survivors that offers information about how to identify domestic violence, explains how coercive control, even when there is no apparent violence, can be very harmful and dangerous, and offers specific concrete steps that family and friends can take to support a loved one who is being abused. Join us to learn how you can support your interventions by engaging and family through the use of these resources.
The Safe & Together Book – Interviewing survivors and practitioners
THIS SESSION IS INCLUDED IN THE VIRTUAL CONFERENCE PACKAGE
Deb Nicholson and David Mandel
When David Mandel first envisioned writing the Safe & Together book – “Stop Blaming Mothers and Ignoring Fathers” – he couldn’t imagine not including the voices of survivors who have been impacted both by perpetrators’ behaviours and the response of systems. Nor could he leave out the voices of practitioners whose work has been transformed by the Safe & Together Model and who are championing its game-changing approach around the world. David believes that the Model is nothing without the practitioners who practice it, nor can its effectiveness be truly measured without hearing from survivors impacted by professionals’ use of the Model. Early in the book’s development, David decided to interview practitioners and survivors to hear their stories, and their impressions of the Model. Over a period of three months during 2022 Deb Nicholson interviewed practitioners and survivors from Australia, the UK and the USA. In this workshop, David and Deb discuss the methodology and results of the interviews, and what this might mean for future development of the Model.
I’ve held the perpetrator to account – now what?: Learning from the Male Engagement Worker Project
This presentation introduces the Male Engagement Worker (MEW) project in Southampton City Council. The project works with fathers who are alleged perpetrators of domestic abuse, supporting the professional network around the family to hold the perpetrator to account and to partner with the survivor.
The MEW project goes beyond mapping perpetrator’s behaviour and holding them to account for their abuse by working directly with fathers to encourage their behaviour change. In this presentation, we will follow the journeys of five fathers who have been referred to the project.
Through these case studies, we will highlight what methods and tools were used to encourage behaviour change and, where fathers have not been able to implement those changes, how the MEW remains involved as part of the professional network around the family to: 1) provide ongoing, dynamic, assessments and, 2) to continue to support the professional network to maintain a focus on the perpetrator’s pattern of abuse and not fall back on the status quo of holding the mother culpable for her own abuse.
The presentation will conclude with key lessons learned, what data we have started to collect and where we envisage the project going next. This session will be interactive so as to facilitate shared learning and consider solutions to shared challenges when working with perpetrators of domestic abuse as fathers.
The Role of Respect’s Implementation Leads in London; Systems Change within Children’s Social Care
Rachael Reynolds, Christina Tomprou, Michelle Smith and Gabrielle Trimblett
Self Care for Practitioners: Using the Concept of Partnering with Survivors to Promote Worker Health and Well-Being
THIS SESSION IS INCLUDED IN THE VIRTUAL CONFERENCE PACKAGE
David Mandel and Ruth Reymundo Mandel
Working with domestic violence means professionals come into contact daily with complex & challenging trauma. The Safe & Together Model’s concept of Partnering with Survivors offers an efficient, effective, ethical and safe way to engage protective parents. Working with domestic violence survivors may confront professionals with their own prior experiences, uncover where their strengths or needs were not acknowledged and can even trigger their own experiences of trauma.
In this workshop, participants will:
- Learn the six steps of Partnering
- Discuss the following questions:
- What is my experience with being partnered with in my own life?
- What are the values, practices and personal responsibilities associated with partnering?
- What strengths do I bring to the partnering process?
- What judgments do I have that get in the way of partnering?
- What beliefs and experiences have I had that make it hard for me to partner with survivors?
- What do I need to change in my attitudes and beliefs so I can most effectively partner with survivors?
As a result of this workshop, participants will be better prepared to partner with survivors and also learn how the partnering process can support the healing and nourishment for practitioners & workers as well.
How to Deliver the Safe & Together Model to Audiences Outside of North America
Despite the cultural similarities and shared worldviews between Europe and the United States, there are also significant differences. When delivering training to European audiences on a North American model, one of these differences often manifests as doubt or suspicion. This session will seek to allay these concerns through the translation of the Model into established and credible UK-based research whilst also empowering potential future trainers and commissioners to recognise the value of the Model and the ability to regionalise the content to meet their needs without compromising on model fidelity.
Integrating the lived experience of Childhood Domestic Violence and Abuse into a domestic violence-informed approach
We will present on the lived experience of Childhood Domestic Violence and Abuse. Working in a domestic abuse-informed approach, supports us to understand and recognise children/young people’s strengths and protective efforts in order to support their resilience and recovery. In Ireland the work of the Empower kids project is supporting us to develop a shared understanding of childhood domestic violence and abuse in order to improve our practice responses to children and young people.
Empower Kids is a child and young person’s participation project in partnership with 13 services from around Ireland. We began this journey of participation with children/young people to better understand their lived experience of childhood domestic violence and abuse and to increase their visibility as victims in their own right.
Over the last three years, and using the Lundy Model of Participation (developed by Professor Laura Lundy from Queen’s University, Belfast), our project has supported children and young people to define domestic violence and abuse, explore what matters for children/young people who live with domestic violence and abuse and what supports and responses they need from services.
The Safe & Together London Partnership with London Metropolitan University’s CWASU evaluators
Liz Kelly, Maria Garner, Laura Butterworth
The Safe & Together (S&T) London Partnership is coming to the end of its second year of implementation and embedding. The Early Engagement and Intervention with Domestic Abuse Perpetrators (from here S&T) was funded through the Home Office perpetrator programme 2021-22. It extended work in Waltham Forest and Hackney (initially named the East Partnership) to four additional boroughs: Redbridge, Tower Hamlets, Newham and Hammersmith & Fulham, now known as . The London Partnership with Respect is the delivery partner and London Metropolitan’s University’s Woman and Child Unit the evaluators. This presentation will reflect on the learnings from the perspective of the boroughs and from the evaluation of year 1.
Anna MitchellUK Regional Manager & Organizational Assessment Lead, Safe & Together Institute
Anna Mitchell’s interest in women’s issues began when she studied for a degree in Geography with Gender Studies at Edinburgh University in 1996. After working in various women’s organisations she went on to gain her Social Work Masters and began to think about the importance of engaging with men who abuse in order to increase the safety of women and children. She worked as a Women’s Service Worker with the Caledonian System; an integrated approach to addressing domestic abuse combining a court-ordered programme for men, aimed at changing their behaviour, with support services for women and children. Anna co-authored the Caledonian System Women’s Service Manual and was seconded to the Equality Unit in the Scottish Government as a Professional Advisor to support the roll-out of this innovative system across Scotland. Since 2012, she has been employed as Domestic Abuse Lead Officer for Edinburgh’s Public Protection Partnership with the remit to help coordinate domestic abuse services across the council, police, health and the voluntary sector. Anna has completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Public Services Leadership and led a number of initiatives in Edinburgh to improve systemic responses, not only to adult and child victims but to domestic abuse perpetrators; including the development of auditing tools, improvement plans, service pathways, policies and training. In her current role, she is representing the Safe & Together Institute in the UK and is supporting the development and implementation of the Model across Great Britain.
David MandelFounder and CEO, Safe & Together Institute
With over almost 30 years’ experience in the domestic violence field, David’s international training and consulting focuses on improving systems’ responses to domestic violence when children are involved. Through years of work with child welfare systems, David has developed the Safe & Together™ Model to improve case practice and cross-system collaboration in domestic violence cases involving children. He has also identified how a perpetrator pattern-based approach can improve our ability to help families and promote the development of domestic violence-informed child welfare systems.
David and the Safe & Together Institute’s staff and faculty have consulted to United States’ child welfare systems in a number of states including New York, Louisiana, New Jersey, Iowa, Wisconsin, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Michigan, New Mexico, the District of Columbia, Vermont, Oregon and Ohio. In the last five years, their work has expanded outside the United States with research, training and consultation in the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and other countries. The Safe & Together Institute works closely with domestic violence advocates, in the United States and abroad, to help them more effectively work with child protection systems and better advocate for child welfare-involved adult and child domestic violence survivors. David has written and published online courses which has launched a new Safe & Together Model Certified Trainer initiative that will increase the Institute’s ability to support sustainable implementation of domestic violence-informed practice in the US and abroad.
David has written or co-written journal articles on batterer’s perceptions of their children’s exposure to domestic violence, domestic violence case reading tools, and the intersection of domestic violence and child welfare practice. His chapter on “Batterers and the Lives of Their Children” was published in the Praeger Series Violence Against Women in Families and Relationships.
Ruth Reymundo MandelCommunications and E-Learing Manager, Safe & Together Institute
Ruth Reymundo Mandel has been in training and implementation since 1995. Her career began as a middle school teacher in post-revolutionary Nicaragua. As a teacher in a developing, post-war country, she became dedicated to issues surrounding social justice and violence. She later transitioned to higher education and worked at the Bryman School and at The Art Institute of Phoenix as an Assistant Director of Admissions. Her responsibilities included vetting prospective students and identifying barriers to enrollment and to matriculation.
After taking a break to raise her three children, she began working as a trainer and technical support for a national professional line nutritional company and an international professional line herbal company that trained medical professionals in alternative therapies.
In her role, she trained doctors and medical professionals in clinical application and was ongoing support for successful implementation through patient outcomes. She developed systems for practice management, patient support, managed, created and promoted cyclical education events for clinical success. She developed training strategies to respond to a variety of real-time field challenges.
Ruth also worked as a professional business coach specializing in systems and practice management. Her dedication to understanding root challenges, institutional, structural and personal impediments that keep people from applying their skills and knowledge in a targeted and successful way helped many of her clients increase their business success.
Aside from her professional accomplishments, Ruth is a published poet, writer and public speaker. Ruth has worked with clients using various energy medicine and body-centric coaching techniques for trauma recovery. Drawing on her childhood experiences growing up in an abusive religious cult, and as a survivor, she is a fierce advocate for those who have experienced abuse. She is dedicated to helping survivors and allies understand behavioral coping mechanisms arising out of trauma and mitigating societal and personal judgments surrounding common human responses to violence and harm. This transformative approach helps those who have experienced violence and their allies better understand how to support, nurture and nourish survivors in a common-sense manner and without blame.